MIDWAY : Ego matters

Actress Sushmita Sen, the gorgeous beauty with the brains, says she does not refer to herself as ‘I’. “While conversing, my sentences do not begin with ‘I go, I feel… but ‘Sushmita goes, Sushmita feels…etc”, says the former Miss Universe. Celebrities, during their interviews, tend to spruce up their way of expressing and embroidering feelings. Curiously, I, me, my kind of pronouns reign supreme in ‘interview vocabulary.’

Conversely, interviewees — celebrities or not — had better avoid the use of pronouns like I, me, my..., at least for the heart’s sake. Lama and Howard C. Cutler, in their book The Art of Happiness, refer to a doctor’s study showing that “those who referred to themselves using the pronouns I, me, my... most often in an interview, were more likely to develop coronary disease...”.

As such, the pervasiveness of the ‘I’ phenomenon is amazing. For instance, whenever a celebrity or a politician talks to television journalists, one funny phenomenon is simultaneously taking place: people around this ‘star’ are jostling to look at the camera. This reminds me of an anonymous wisecrack: Television is something you don’t watch, you appear on it. Hence, the ‘jostling’ onlooker’s message: “I” need to appear

on television!

Similarly, ‘ego surfers’ are on the rise. Wictionary defines ego surfing (or googling!) as “the practice of using a search engine to find mention of one’s name on the Internet.” Why not? If you haven’t mentioned yourself on the Internet, someone might have done it for you. The netizen’s message:

“I” need to be mentioned on the Internet! Ditto in case of the one submitting an article to a newspaper or magazine, his or her message: I need to be published!

As for Sushmita Sen, even though she is after all referring to herself, even by

way of treating herself as a third person — Sushmita goes, Sushmita feels etc., perhaps she is consciously avoiding the egoistic I-me-my kinds of words — an approach visibly good for a healthy heart.

Well, I am clueless whether the beautiful actress has read The Art of Happiness, but one thing is for sure: her peers and admirers would do a heartfelt favour to their own hearts if they took a leaf out of her book.